La Paz to Santa Rosalia
09 July 2008
We spent about 7 weeks in La Paz, enjoying what the city has to offer. During this time, Zephyra got new interior upholstery, a sunshade and a four-way wind-scope. Russ was busy. We also took bike rides, walked the Malecon (with an occasional stop at the best ice cream store in Mexico), saw movies (in English), shopped and spent time eating and drinking with cruising friends. We finally finished provisioning the boat for summer, filled her with water and fuel and had no more excuses not to leave. We met many people who came to La Paz for a week, five, ten, fifteen years ago and still haven't left.
The only problem with staying in one spot for that long, is the bottom of the boat grows its own life forms. As we were motoring out of the La Paz channel, there were so many barnacles on the prop that we could only make 3.5 knots. We stopped at a cove in the outer part of La Paz bay and Russ spent two days under the boat with the hooka, cleaning the bottom. Now we can motor at 6-7 knots again. Clean fresh water is one of the many reasons we miss Lake Tahoe. We sure were spoiled up there.
We traveled north into the Sea of Cortez and visited several islands and anchorages on the Baja side. The further north we go, the warmer both the air and warm becomes. The last place we swam, the water temperature was 86 degrees, even Debbie doesn't need a wetsuit for that. We found some really good snorkeling at Puerta Ballandra on Isla Carmen and spent several days playing in an aquarium.
On July 1st, we rounded the point to Bahia Concepcion, which is a large landlocked bay on the Baja side. In El Burro cove, there is an ex-pat who owns a palapa on the beach and throws a big 4th of July party. He sets up tables and chairs and cooks about 300 hotdogs. The cruisers all bring a dish for potluck and there is beer for sale. About 35 cruising boats showed up, plus some people from town and there was a big all day party. At night there were some fireworks. Of course, nothing compared to the show in Tahoe. More like the stuff the tourist get arrested for before the "lights on the lake". It was a fun 4th, but we missed Tahoe.
We are now in Santa Rosalia, which is an interesting little town. In 1866, copper ore was discovered, and a French mining syndicate developed the mines and the town grew into a busy port. One historical landmark is Iglesia Santa Barbara which was designed and built by Carl Eiffel for the Paris Exposition of 1889 and later shipped and reassembled in Santa Rosalia. On the way here yesterday, we had a whale within 25 feet of the boat, so far our closest encounter. The sea life in the Sea of Cortez has been amazing. We see dolphins, pilot whales and rays constantly. We are only in town for a couple of days to clean the boat and get some provisions before we continue further north to Bahia Los Angeles for the summer. In August, we will come back to Santa Rosalia and leave the boat here while we travel to California. We plan on being in San Diego on the 22nd of August and up to Tahoe by the Labor Day Weekend. We plan spend the first week or so of September in Tahoe.